Call them politically charged exclamation points: Two new pro-Republican ad campaigns are slamming President Obama and his economic plan in the same targeted venues where he’s trying to sell it.
American Crossroads, the Karl Rove-backed independent political group, announced a nationwide effort to “bracket” Obama campaign stops with a 30-second TV ad that will air before, during and after his visits to key cities and states in the next several months.
The ad, which debuted Monday on two network news channels in St. Louis, Mo., ahead of Obama fundraisers there this afternoon, hits the president for his plan to raise $1.5 trillion in new tax revenue.
The spot features Obama’s 2009 comment that “the last thing you want to do is raise taxes during a recession,” then bolsters it with former President Bill Clinton’s saying, “I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes. It won’t solve the problem.”
The message is somewhat misleading because Obama’s proposal would not take effect until 2013. It would also only apply to wealthier Americans, with the expiration of the Bush tax cuts on individuals earning more than $200,000 a year or $250,000 per family. The Obama plan would also close tax loopholes and limit deductions for higher-income earners and corporations.
The ad concludes with the on-screen slogan: “We need jobs, not higher taxes.”
The video is also part of the first nationwide online ad buy for Crossroads. The spot appeared as a pre-roll ad for video clips of Obama’s Monday interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos linked on Yahoo! and Yahoo! News.
“Our goal is to keep Obama on defense, where he’s unable to generate an unchallenged media hit to sell his tax increase or his re-election,” Crossroads president Steven Law said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee is rolling out a new Web video – “No Regrets” – that targets the president’s unapologetic defense of a $535 million U.S. government loan to the now-bankrupt solar energy firm Solyndra.
Obama told Stephanopoulos Monday that he does not regret holding up Solyndra as a model company or his administration’s approval of the loan guarantee. He said, “hindsight is always 20/20.”
Republicans have been hammering Obama for the failure and cost to taxpayers, particularly in light of internal administration emails that reveal concern about the company’s viability.
UPDATE at 5:24 PM: Bill Burton, a former White House spokesman who co-founded Obama-aligned independent group PrioritiesUSA, called the new ads a “desperate” attempt by the same higher-income earners who would have to pay “their fair share” under the president’s plan.
“Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, and Karl Rove will spend millions on false television ads because they know that the American public strongly supports the President’s plan that will finally ensure billionaires do not pay a lower tax rate than middle class families,” Burton said in an email. “No fair-minded American thinks that someone like Mitt Romney should pay an estimated 14 percent tax rate while hardworking Americans are paying far more.”